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A huge 5 days of legal news: What’s hot in law this week (20-24 Feb)

It’s been a massive week for legal news — perhaps the biggest in a long time. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest news stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconLawyers Weekly 25 February 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 20 February to 24 February, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1.   Breach of duty by HWL Ebsworth sees alleged client loss of $130m
A former client of BigLaw firm HWL Ebsworth has been found to have lost an opportunity to develop a property because of a “negligent failure” by the firm, alleged to have lost the former client $130 million.

  1.   MinterEllison pulls support for Adelaide Festival
National law firm MinterEllison is cutting ties with the Adelaide Festival following controversy over two of the program’s scheduled speakers.


  1.   Slater & Gordon directors ‘unanimously support’ takeover offer by Allegro Funds
One of Australia’s biggest law firms — and the first to ever list on the ASX — is set to agree to be acquired by private equity firm Allegro Funds, in a move that could shake up the nation’s legal services marketplace.

  1.   Quiet firing will replace quiet quitting, says partner
One BigLaw partner posits that the phenomenon of quiet quitting, where employees do the bare minimum, will be replaced by “quiet firing”, where employers provide limited opportunities to encourage them to leave.

  1.   Law firms not likely to be recommended by in-house teams
New research from Lawyers Weekly and Momentum Intelligence shows that, while corporate counsel are largely satisfied with their external providers on various metrics, those in-house teams are largely unconvinced they should recommend said providers.

  1.   Former federal judge joins DLA Piper
A former justice of the Federal Court of Australia, who retired from the bench in December, will serve as a senior adviser for global law firm DLA Piper, advising on investigations, class actions and inquiries.

  1.   Top 25 Attraction Firms 2022–23 (by gender)
Where do men and women want to work? Last week, Lawyers Weekly and Momentum Intelligence revealed the law firms deemed most attractive for legal professionals, if they were to leave their current employers. Here, we unveil the most appealing prospective employers for both male and female lawyers.

  1.   Clayton Utz accelerates ESG work with ChatGPT
AI technologies are set to have a massive impact on a number of sectors — including law and ESG — which has prompted Clayton Utz to start using ChatGPT to drive efficiencies in its ESG practice.

  1.   ChatGPT’s rise means billable hours will ‘inevitably decline’
The time-based billing model has come under significant scrutiny in recent years, and now, with the emergence of technologies like ChatGPT, billables are at further risk.

  1. Federal Court gives largest-ever penalty for breach of continuous disclosure
The Federal Court has handed down the largest-ever penalty against a company for breaching continuous disclosure laws, with start-up company GetSwift Limited ordered to pay $15 million.